Sunday, 23 February 2014

Still in one piece!

I am writing this blog as I sit at the kitchen table painfully trying to remain calm whilst my middle daughter struggles with her math homework and my youngest scribbles all over her art pads rather than colour the pictures in. I am torn in my reactions towards my middle daughter as I can remember crying over my math homework and to this day I will try and avoid any form of calculation!

Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to reflect upon the half term week. We have made it and it has actually gone better than expected. Sure there have been moments where I have wanted to scream and run them down to the school in a blind panic but I learnt from the summer holidays that as a family we need to have activities to do, we need to be out of the house and most importantly we need to have fun!

So I made the decision to put the housework on hold and to schedule a fun-packed week. Over the week we have spent time with family and friends, going out for lunch, visiting soft play areas and parks, baked cookies (and ate them), watched films and squeezed in a little homework. I must admit I am not a fan of homework during the holidays, I personally think that kids need to have some time where they can switch off and play! 

I felt that it was just as important for me to have some fun and make some space for me to relax and recharge. Early on in the week I met with three lovely adopters and their children, whilst being pushed and shoved by the countless kids running around the soft play area we tried to catch up without spilling our coffee over the little ones. Mid-week I escaped the bedtime routine and went out for a meal with a friend - I always find our time together lifts my spirits as we have a good old natter!

 As it was the half term we thought it would be a good idea to move the youngest into the girls' bedroom to make way for the pending arrival. Well that is the last time we have a good idea!! We knew that she would be excited and that the first few nights may be full of giggles and silly behaviour. However, I think we underestimated how much the stress levels would rise by the kids not settling down until 9pm and last night it reached an all-time low of 11pm. As a result we have decided that her move can wait and that she can move back into her own room. Hopefully normal bedtime routines can resume tonight and we can have a restful night too.

So all that is left to do now is to complete the dreaded math homework (which my husband has now taken over), dig out the school uniforms, pack the lunches, bath the kids and put them to bed and life can resume as normal.

Thank you to all my family and friends who have supported me through this week, who have encouraged me, fed us and helped me with the practical tasks - much appreciated.

Friday, 7 February 2014

A Year On...

This post has been written for The Adoption Social, this week’s theme is ‘A Year On’. #WASO         

This time last year my husband and I would have probably just got home from work and eaten our dinner sat in front of the T.V. We would have been planning and discussing the meetings that were taking place between our social worker and the girl’s social worker to discuss our suitability as possible parents for them. We would have been getting excited, planning their rooms, thinking about how our lives would change for the better and putting the finishing touches to the welcome book.

Well, nearly a year on and we have three little girls upstairs settling down for bed. To say it has been interesting and challenging is an understatement. Relaxed dinners in front of the T.V. are few and far between. Lie-ins and weekends away are no longer part of our lives. I don’t think anything could have prepared us for the change that was, and is still, going on in our lives. In hindsight I think we were idealistic and naive about adopting a sibling group of three. I think I thought I was superwoman, that I would be able to cope with anything, have bundles of energy and would have the patience of a saint. WELL, I couldn’t have been more wrong!! Ha! Having said all that I believe we made the right decision to bring them into our family and they do bring light and laughter into our home (sometimes).

A year on from now, where do I hope we will be?

God willing we will have four children, three girls and one boy. I hope that as I continue to receive the support I am currently seeking that it will enable me to become a happier, more relaxed and playful mother. I hope I will be able to give myself a break, expect less and laugh more. I want to be able to let the little things go and focus on what’s important.

It will be interesting to review this post in a year and see if I have been able to achieve the goals that I would like to – Here’s to the next 12 months! 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Game of Limbo anyone?

Friday morning my husband and I glared into the roaring fire. Sitting side by side we could barely utter a word.

The day had arrived.

Birth family were in court appealing the decision for the adoption order to be made.

Our stomach's churned, we felt so anxious, so helpless, so out of control.

We watched the clock, waiting for the hearing to begin.

We tried discussing holiday options, birthdays and anything else nice that we could think of. However, it did not shake the nerves.

As the morning rolled on my husband left for work and I went to pick up our youngest from nursery. As my phone vibrated I anxiously slide my finger across the green line. "Hello", I said nervously. It was my hubby ringing with an update. He said "Do you want the good news or the not so good news?" My heart sank. What had gone wrong? Had the court date been postponed again?

The adoption order had been made - Phew!! So what was the 'not so good news?' Birth
family could still appeal the Order!! WHAT??!!! Neither of us could believe it. This hadn't been explained to us.

Later on that day I spoke to the courts. A nice woman explained to me what would happen next and tried to reassure me that things are moving forward and that the family may not even appeal. Our paperwork can still be processed and a Celebration Day date can be penciled in to the court's diary.

I wanted to relax, to switch off and celebrate. However, it all feels too early.

We are now in a position where we are waiting to hear if the family will lodge an appeal and. if they do, we will have to sit through another court date and wait for another judge to make a decision.

The whole process seems unfair, drawn out and unnecessary. I'm all for the birth family having rights and a chance to change and to have their birth children returned to them. But surely not after their children have been given a new family and told that this is forever.

To top it off the girl's social worker was not able to attend court and is away for the next week. So we are not able to talk this through with her or have any direct contact with the team.

So the waiting game continues at least for another week, but this could stretch for another month or so. We will continue to bond and care for these children with this cloud of uncertainty hanging over us.